London colour inspiration

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Some people say London is a bit grey.  But I think Londoners just get it.  They put colour wherever they can and they live a BIG life in little spaces.  I recently stayed with a lovely friend in her place in Notting Hill above a pizza shop.  I entered through a tiny little door and up a teeny stairwell and found my way up to a gorgeous BIG loftspace, beautifully decked out with couches, flowers in vases, and bookshelves with favourite books and collectibles.  Who would have thought I’d have found something so beautiful in such an obscure location?

Above are some of the flowers I found outside a London apartment window.  See the pictures for more colour inspiration in the form of flowers and bunting in and around London, which could be used inside or outside.  Also check out my previous post on bringing outside, inside!

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Water water everywhere…

ImageIn Bali, life is surrounded by water and it definitely seems more serene.  The sound of water always reminds me of life, whether it’s the waves crashing at my favourite beach, a beautiful waterfall, or a pretty little winter creek.  Here in Australia we are lucky to be surrounded by water, however living in the city means it’s not always immediately accessible.

I was inspired by this water feature I found in a tiny Balinese garden, and now that the nights are getting longer I want to enjoy being on my balcony as often as possible.  So here’s my view tonight of my own little water feature, and I’m feeling very calm indeed and ready for a brand new week!  Happy Sunday!

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Celebrating Spring!

Last year, I bought myself some rather sad looking twigs…

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Now look how they’ve rewarded me this spring!  They have blossomed into a beautiful cherry, pear and lime tree!  These self-watering pots from Bunnings are a lifesaver for busy people with limited time.  The pots retain water in the bottom and the plants can soak it up when they get thirsty.  So you always know how much water your trees need to grow up BIG and beautiful.

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Alternative uses for herbs

lavender and herbs

As a single person house, sometimes I don’t use up all my herbs.  Here are some alternate uses:

  • Make a display – My herbs bolted so to keep them alive, I had to prune them back.  They looked and smelt divine with my lavender
  • Dry them – Herbs also look beautiful when hanging up to dry.  So decorate your house with them, and they will come in handy when cooking over the slower-growing months, too!
  • Make tea with them – Mint tea, with real mint, is divine.  Try using different types of mint for different strength and flavour
  • Swap them! Think of all your friends, neighbours and family who also cook, and you’ll realise there’s no reason to let your herbs go to waste.  Even better, encourage people around you to grow something for you to share.  Contribute to your community, make new friends, improve the air quality in your little space, and enjoy BIG flavours.  Win, win, win, WIN!

Outside, Inside

Not all apartments have the luxury of outdoor space.  So bring your outdoors, indoors!  Here’s some inspiration…

ImageFlowers on a coffee table add colour.  Change the water daily to keep your flowers fresher for longer!  These flowers from my Nan’s garden stayed beautiful for over three weeks!

ImageMix and match the size of flowers and vases.  White and glass will look beautiful anywhere.

ImageIndoor plants make your house feel alive, but make sure you get advice before buying. Like us, plants like a certain lifestyle – some love sun, some love shade, some need more water, some struggle in heat.  Keep your plant happy by choosing the right one and giving it the right care, and it will keep you happy, too!

From little things BIG things grow

It’s springtime and Melbourne is remembering how to turn on some beautiful sunny days – mixed in with the inevitable wind and rain to create “four seasons in one day”.  It’s the perfect time for planting some herbs!  Here are my babies upon purchase 12 months ago… 

Image…And as they are today, in a new “Farmers Market” garden from my local nursery.
ImageTop tips:

  • Plants need water.  Keep watering small pots regularly.  Even if it’s rained recently, they will dry out quickly on those sunny days
  • But not too much. Your pots need to have drainage – you don’t want wet feet everyday, neither do your herbs!  Let excess water run out (some holes drilled into my Farmers Market fixed this problem for me)
  • Sun is your friend. And as long as they are well watered, these little babies have thrived even on a west-facing balcony
  • Little plants still need space. After a year in tiny pots, my herbs were almost all roots and no soil.  Gently and with lots of love pull out your plants, take off some of the excess roots, and you can repot back into the same pot with some new soil.
  • Feed your plants!  Good old fashioned Blood and Bone is my choice.  Remember when it comes to edible plants, whatever you plant them in is feeding your food, so organic is best.
  • Enjoy. The smell that comes from your little herb garden each time you water is amazing.  You can feel extra proud of the BIG taste when you use your herbs, food tastes better when the ingredients were grown with love!